In a report in Dow Jones, citing Indonesia’s Oil and Gas Director General of the Mines and Energy Ministry Iin Arifin Takhyan said, “The area [is] within Indonesian territory. Malaysia has made a unilateral claim [and] the best solution could be a joint operation, so that the two countries can exploit oil and share it.”
A reply of sorts, in a report published by Malaysia’s New Straits Times newspaper, has printed fighting words from Zainal Abidin Osman, a senior Foreign Ministry official. According to Zainal, “Malaysia [is] ready to contest any overlapping claim to the area. Malaysia’s rights over these areas have never been disputed by any country before as they are clearly ours.”
The blocks in question lie near the islands of Sipidan and Ligitan. The two islands themselves were the subject of a domestic row between the two nations and it took a ruling from the International Court of Justice to hand Malaysia sovereignty in 2002.